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Ha'penny (Small Change #2)

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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,513 Ratings  ·  246 Reviews
Before Jo Walton won the Hugo and Nebula Awards for her stunning Among Others, she published a trilogy set in a dark alternate postwar England that had negotiated "Peace with Honor" with Nazi Germany in 1941. These novels-Farthing, Ha'penny, and Half a Crown-are connected by common threads, but can be read in any order.

In Ha'penny, England has completed its slide into fasc
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Tor Books (first published October 2nd 2007)
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Annginette Anderson Thanks, Doug. Rats. I don't like reading series out of order, but at least some things became clearer when I backtracked and read Farthing. Half a…moreThanks, Doug. Rats. I don't like reading series out of order, but at least some things became clearer when I backtracked and read Farthing. Half a Crown next.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,545)
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Barbara
Oct 05, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barbara by: Susan Drees
After reading Jo Walton's Farthing (Small Change, #1) by Jo Walton, I was pleased to discover that it was #1 of a trilogy. This sequel is no less disturbing. It is set in a world that might have been , a society which has tried to trade freedom for security, but fails at both. One reviewer described this set as parahistorical , but while it can be viewed as an historical fantasy, aside from the alternate history and world, it is chilling and unfortunately very real.

I will not dwell on the plot, nor the mystery associated with it,
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Leseparatist
Aug 01, 2016 Leseparatist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Leseparatist by: kari
Shelves: owned, 2016
I don't read too many thrillers, but this one reminded me of the experience I would have with them as a teen, usually resorting to a thriller after I'd read through my stash and had to borrow books from camp friends. Summer, days before smartphones (or personal computers!), hardly any TV, no work school, reading hundreds of pages a day.

It was a bit more pessimistic than I like my books, but once again, perfectly fitting for 2016, reminding us of the danger of letting excessive fear guide your ch
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Kim
Sep 24, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this second book in Jo Walton's "Small Change" trilogy increasingly difficult to put down. From something which I expected would take me a few days to read, it became a book which I devoured in three sittings - the last half of it in a single sitting.

The first book in the trilogy, Farthing, created the world of the novel: a world in which England made peace with Nazi Germany in 1941 and is sliding towards becoming a fascist state in 1949. Farthing was written in the style of a Golden Ag
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Sarah
I tore through this one, and I'm tempted to go straight to the library for the third. This book suffers only a little bit from middleoftrilogyitis, mostly manifest in my desire to find out what happens in the final volume.

The trilogy's apparent structure is clever. This book, like the first one, has a split narrative; also like the first it alternates between a first person protagonist and a third person protagonist. The third person narrator, a Scotland Yard detective named Carmichael, is the
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Margaret
I read Farthing when it came out and thought it was brilliant. On rereading it, I still think so, and Ha'penny is just as good. Farthing's plot was a country-house mystery; I would call Ha'penny more of a suspense thriller, and full of suspense it is, right up to the explosive ending.

It follows on quite shortly after Farthing: Inspector Carmichael has just come off the Farthing case and has been assigned to a bombing which killed leading actress Lauria Gilmore. Viola Lark has been chosen to act
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Nikki
I didn't like Ha'penny as much as Farthing -- I didn't devour it in the same way: it wasn't as compulsive a read, and besides, everyone's politics are getting a little bit murky. Viola, the first person POV character, isn't as likeable as Lucy -- she's not as amusing to read about, and her convictions are murky, and she gives in all too easily. It's understandable. Probably most people who read this and criticise her for giving in would give in themselves, hoping to earn a few more weeks of life ...more
Jamie Collins
This is the second book of this trilogy set in an alternate timeline where Britain has made peace with Hitler. This is readable enough, but it’s depressing as hell, and has a protagonist I didn’t believe in.

This book takes place a couple of weeks after the events in Farthing. We’re introduced to another young aristocratic woman who has defied her family - this one has become a theater actress and changed her name. She’s plausibly uninterested in politics and more concerned with her upcoming play
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Marijan
Ako išta, još bolje, još ozbiljnije, još uvjerljivije od prvog dijela. Jo se stvarno potrudila (re)konstruirati period o kojem piše. Nisam baš siguran za ponašanje glavnog lika, ali hej, nisam žensko.
Mal Warwick
May 13, 2015 Mal Warwick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alternate history is a curious branch of science fiction — or, perhaps more properly, of speculative fiction. Because the factor that limits the author’s imagination aren’t the boundaries of science but those of history itself: reality. To work, alternate history must be believable in the context of what we know of our past. In Ha’penny, the second volume of her Farthing Trilogy, accomplished British science fiction and fantasy writer Jo Walton has achieved that, and more. She has written a grip ...more
Tracey
I kind of liked the first book in this trilogy. I didn't like this one nearly so much. (I loathed the third one, but I'll get to that in due time.) It takes place not so long after the first one, and the story now centers around an actress who finds herself embroiled in an anarchist plot to kill Hitler. Meanwhile, she is slated to star as a revolutionary female Hamlet, and while that was almost a saving grace … the author's knowledge of Shakespeare, and Hamlet, let her down, which let me down.

"I
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Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
The standout book of this series. This book was brilliant in a way that the first (Farthing) and third (Half a Crown) were not. Also, if you don't love the awesomeness of the cover — a vintage photo of an advertising-crowded street which includes an ad proclaiming that Guinness is good for you — then I don't mean to judge, but really, you should probably have that checked out. And when I say "that" I mean "your improperly functioning sense of what is funny and/or awesome."

One of the viewpoint ch
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Lynn
Sep 30, 2008 Lynn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been working on this in between all the YA books I've been reading and even though I've been reading it for weeks, the minute I opened it again I was immediately immersed in Walton's alternate world. In Farthing, the first book, Walton set out a world in which the Farthing Peace treaty is reached in WWII and Britain is now ruled by a dictatorship lead by Normanby, an ally of Hitler. There is increasing suppression of Jews, homosexuals, and anyone born outside England. Ha'penny follows the f ...more
Siria
A solid but unremarkable sequel to Farthing, Ha'penny suffers somewhat from middle-book-in-a-trilogy syndrome. Between that, the constraints of the historical background Walton has established, and a loss of subtlety in the political elements, I found the plot rather predictable and that robbed the ending somewhat of its tension. I also wish that Walton would get someone Irish to check over her work, because there are subtle things she gets wrong about her Irish characters which were jarring for ...more
KerryH
May 03, 2016 KerryH rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall this book is weaker than its prequel. The characters were unconvincing to me, and I just cannot believe that Viola would fall so completely for a guy, charming as he may have been, who kidnaps her and threatens her with violence. Stockholm syndrome notwithstanding. Even though I preferred Viola’s voice to that of the female lead in the first in this series, I found her shallow and too easily influenced by others, especially her nasty sisters. I didn't mind that Viola seemed uninterested ...more
Beth Cato
Sep 11, 2014 Beth Cato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These books blow my mind. I read FARTHING recently and immediately ordered the next two in the trilogy. Each book can stand alone but is interconnected. While HA'PENNY wasn't as good as its predecessor--the first person perspective just isn't quite as gripping and sympathetic--it's still a darn good book. I read it over a day and a half, and found many excuses to pause for a while and read more. Walton has created a world that's terrifying because it's so convincing: Britain and Germany, stoppin ...more
Fence
Sep 23, 2016 Fence rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read Farthing last month, and straight away I added the next book to Mount TBR. Well, the second I finished this I almost grabbed the third in the series to start reading it. In fact, had it not been for the fact that I didn’t have it with me, and had time left on my lunch for reading, I would probably have dived right into the third book. Because I loved this one. I mean, I really liked Farthing, it was great, but this one is even better in some respects.

It is certainly darker.

And yet despite
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Juniper Green
Something's rotten in the state of England.

Ha'penny starts about two weeks after the Farthing case in part #1. And once again Walton alternates between a female first person narrator – Viola Lark, ex-Larkin, peer's daughter gone actress – and Carmichael's third person limited POV. When a bomb tears a famous actress to pieces, Carmichael finds himself with a new case. Soon he has to face another conspiracy, one that Viola herself is being swept away with. But this time, the conspirators aim for
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Jürgen Zeller
Jan 02, 2016 Jürgen Zeller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dies ist der 2. Band rund um Inspector Carmichael und er steht dem hervorragenden Erstling in keiner Art und Weise nach und führt in einer in sich abgeschlossenen Geschichte das ungewöhnliche Handlungsgerüst fort, welches mit "Die Stunde der Rotkehlchen" begonnen wurde. Die Schriftstellerin Jo Walton stellt die Geschichtsschreibung, so wie wir sie kennen, auf den Kopf indem sie den Verlauf vom 2. Weltkrieg verändert und eine alternative Welt erschafft. England und Deutschland haben im Jahre 1941 ...more
Jackie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bob
Feb 19, 2012 Bob rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ampersand Canada's Book & Gift Agency Inc
From Ali:
All I can say is that I’m enraged that Tor won’t be putting out the third and final book until September. I HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL SEPTEMBER, YOU GUYS!
From Dot:
Both Farthing and Ha’penny were gripping reads and I polished them off in short order. The books look at a what –if scenario – England has signed a separate peace agreement with Hitler and is heading into fascism. Farthing is a murder mystery with this as the backdrop and the main character and her husband (a Jew) are set up to ta
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Phoenixfalls
I loved Farthing, the first book in this series, despite avoiding alternate history and especially anything involving Nazis and WWII like the plague. In Farthing, Jo Walton took a classic British country house mystery and used it to divert the reader from all the subtly horrifying alternate history world-building going on at the edges, then brought all the alternate history aspects to the fore in the final third like a punch to the gut. It was one of the best books I've read all year.

In this seq
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Res
Feb 12, 2008 Res rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
Set in the universe in which Britain made peace with Hitler rather than continuing to fight, and in 1949 most of Europe is under the Reich. The one where noblewoman-turned-actress Viola Lark is getting ready to play a female Hamlet when the actress scheduled for Gertrude is killed in an explosion, and poor closeted Inspector Carmichael is put on the case to make sure it wasn't "Jews or anarchists."

I felt like Carmichael was a little warmer in this book than in Farthing; he's still rather at a di
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Kaethe
In an alternate England, a truce was reached with Hitler. Fascism covers the continent and is creeping over the UK. No one is unaffected, not even the apolitical Viola Lark, third daughter of a Mitford-like family of sisters, actress offered the chance to star as Hamlet in a slightly cross-cast production.

Despite the slow going of the beginning, Walton managed to grab me. Once Viola gets into rehearsing the play she becomes focused on developing her characters, and somewhat oblivious to everythi
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Benthemeek
Mar 23, 2015 Benthemeek rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first in this series taught me to be patient for the build up of a story that will pay off. This book is another great example of such. In this book we get to hear from both sides of an assassination plot. It builds to a dramatic conclusion that started me on the sequel right away! I have really enjoyed this series.
Alice
Aug 18, 2013 Alice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a sequel to Farthing, but it doesn't really resolve the previous novel (Lucy, for example, never appears). Instead, it explores what Britain would look like well into appeasement, when fascism and anti-semitism are just a little bit more ingrained in the populace. Like Farthing, it's told by two characters: Viola, an actor who's renounced her upper-class roots and now lives and breathes London theatre, and our friend Inspector Carmichael, who's investigating the bombing of a stage legend ...more
Amy McLay Paterson
Nobody thinks they would have been a Nazi, but if history is to be believed, most are wrong about that. Jo Walton's Small Change series takes us into that uncomfortale, uncanny world, and moreso than Farthing, Ha'Penny revels in the dystopian surroundings. We know who the villains are, but in directly engaging with the Great Person theory of history, Ha'penny's theme orbits around the question of whether heroes can exist.
The series as a whole feels more like a prolonged thought experiment than
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Wealhtheow
Set shortly after Farthing, Inspector Carmichael is once again drawn into a murder case with disturbingly political subtext. This is a disturbing, frustrating book because the situation is completely hopeless. Fascism and every possible form of modern intolerance continue to gain power, and nothing the smart, likeable main characters do makes any difference. It doesn't seem like the failures of the main characters (Lucy Khan in the first book, Viola Lark in this) and Carmichael's own compromise ...more
Sarah
Sep 22, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
While I didn't enjoy this installment of the Small Change cycle the same way I enjoyed the previous, it is undeniable that this was a well-crafted story. The political machinations described are both horrifying and completely engrossing, as are Walton's descriptions of social conditions within this alternate universe. The naivety of the characters involved with the bombing plot coupled with the powerlessness and helpless anger Carmichael feels as he is forced to continue in a job he's grown to d ...more
Liz De Coster
Darker, even, than the first book in the series, but I found it just as gripping. I think getting a fuller sense of Carmichael's personal life made him more interesting and sympathetic as a character, but I found the Viola character a bit flat. Parts of her seemed cloned from the narrator of Farthing, and other parts of her seemed forced - like her romantic attraction to Devlin, which was described in detail but never seemed realistic.
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Jo Walton writes science fiction and fantasy novels and reads a lot and eats great food. It worries her slightly that this is so exactly what she always wanted to do when she grew up. She comes from Wales, but lives in Montreal.
More about Jo Walton...

Other Books in the Series

Small Change (3 books)
  • Farthing (Small Change, #1)
  • Half a Crown (Small Change, #3)

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